Burrrrrr!!! Are you feeling that winter chill? It’s time to put away your shorts (Well you probably did at the end of October) and start wrapping yourself up in your winter coat, thermals, and wooly hat.
But what about your pipes? Don’t forget they shiver too! Help them keep nice and snug with our top 10 tips to prevent your pipes from freezing or bursting open.
1. Lag your pipes
Cover your water pipes – including those outside your home, in the loft and unheated rooms, with a foam tube, called lagging. It’s easy to fit with no tools needed, available from most DIY stores and relatively cheap.
Doing this now could save you huge costs and upset in years to come by helping to prevent your pipes bursting and flooding your home.
Did you know? If you cover your hot water pipes, you’ll keep your water warmer for longer reducing your energy bill.
2. Find your stop tap
Make sure you know where your stop tap is (most are under the kitchen sink), as you may need to turn your water off quickly in an emergency. Don't forget ‘right for tight, left for loose’.
3. Keep your home warm
Keep your home snug at all times. This is as easy as closing your curtains before it gets dark to stop warmth escaping and putting draught excluders on doors.
Our best tip is to cover a thin sheet of card with tinfoil and slide it behind your radiator. This will reflect heat back into your room, meaning it warms up faster and retains more heat – making your home more efficient.
4. Check your loft insulation
Check your loft insulation is thick and in good condition. This helps to keep your home warm and toasty. It also helps reduce your energy bill.
It’s recommended that blanket style insulation (glass or mineral wool) should be 250 to 270 mm thick in your loft. Did you know? You can also leave your loft hatch open when it’s cold to let the warm air circulate around your home
5. Bleed your Radiators
Nope! "Bleed your radiators" isn't the new winter slasher movie. If your radiators aren’t heating to the top, it’s likely they have air in them.
To fix this, buy a radiator key from a DIY shop (about £1) and open the little valve at the top. Listen out for the air hissing and as soon as you see a drop of water, close it up again.
6. Re-washer dripping tap
If your taps are dripping, you should change your washer as drips can freeze. Did you know? Fixing a leaky tap can also save up to one litre of water a day.
7. Drains and gutters
Keep your drains and gutters clear from things like leaves. This will help to prevent blockages. Did you know? This can also stop leaks and damage to your walls and roof.
8. Service your boiler
Make sure you get your boiler serviced regularly (about once a year). If your boiler breaks down it can be really expensive and disruptive. Don't forget...take out your phone and set a reminder!
9. Always be prepared
Make sure you have the name and number of a qualified plumber to hand so if your pipes do freeze or burst you can call them straight away. Don't forget to check your home insurance cover things like your pipes. If it doesn’t consider taking out Home Emergency cover, like HomeServe.
10. Going on holiday
Always keep your heating on low, even when you’re out of the house or holiday. It will help keep your home warm and prevent pipes from freezing.
Did you know? If you’re going away, consider turning off your stop tap and draining down the system – so there is no water in the system to freeze.
If you, or someone you know, could be vulnerable without water and require extra assistance from us, please let us know.